• Posted On: September 12, 2014

Code enforcement officers often have more work than they can handle, and using manual workflow processes that slow down the rate at which cases are processed can put them even more behind.

Code enforcement is a costly venture for most communities, especially in communities where properties sit vacant and weed abatement becomes a constant struggle over the summer months. The Richmond Police Department’s code enforcement unit knows this first hand. According to a local publication’s reporting on the subject, the city had worked hard to quickly resolve citizen complaints about blighted properties. In one week in June, city workers moved 28 tons of debris from public right-of-ways and nearly 34 tons of weeds from six locations.

Weeds and Debris are Costly to Remove
Every pound of weed and debris that is removed comes with a cost. However, many communities are looking for areas where they can cut expenses. Richmond officials wanted to slash nearly a million dollars from the $4.4 million code enforcement budget. Citizens feared that making such a cut would create more inefficiency in the workflow process that leads to crews getting out there and cleaning up blighted areas of the city. The quality of life, health and safety are all expected to take a downturn if the city actually goes through with the cuts.

Zero in on Workflow to Save Money
What the City of Richmond and many other cities like it needs is a more efficient workflow process to get out there and take care of blighted areas. For instance, many communities are using pen and paper to create cases. These notes are shuffled from department to department until it lands on the right desk and can be literally penciled in to the to-do list. The citizen who files the complaint is often never contacted and updated on the progress of their case.

Code Enforcement Software Trumps Manual Processes
With code enforcement software, city employees no longer have to shuffle paperwork from one desk to the next. Instead of using pen and paper, they simply enter the information using the code enforcement software and the case is created and immediately sent to the department that should handle it. This software is also used to inform the citizen who filed the complaint about the progress of their case.

What Communities Need
Managing, following up on and reporting on
code enforcement violations doesn’t have to be a painstaking process. With the right technology, citizens and government employees can create cases easily, even from the field. Citizens can use mobile apps to tap into the city’s system and make crews aware of blighted areas of their community. Meanwhile, employees can use handheld devices to update their department and the community on the progress of the case. Workers no longer need to travel back to the office and write out their reports – they can do it from the field and get to the next problem faster.

Comcate is a company that realizes how local governments are financially strapped. By adopting our solution, you’ll not only save time, you’ll save money. Contact us today and find out how.

 

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